How often do/did people read the Book of Common Prayer?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Antony, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    I have been reading the traditional evening service of the Book of Common Prayer recently, and while I enjoy it, I don't read it every day, far from it.

    If one were to read the morning, evening, and night services, it would demand an hour or so every day.

    So, how often does/did the average person read the Book of Common Prayer, and which services do/did they read?

    "Should" one read a service at least once a day?

    Service may not be the correct word, but I'm unsure what else to call it.

    Antony
     
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  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I try to read parts of it each day. I love the great litany
     
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  3. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    In the Church of England only those in Holy Orders are obligated to pray the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer on a daily basis.

    I doubt that the majority of lay people historically (or now) formed the habit of praying the Office daily. I think that for many in the CofE, Common Prayer was a book that they used primarily in church on Sundays/Holy Days. At other times they would've dipped into it for Psalms, Collects, scripture readings and general prayers as and when needed.

    Jane Austen's family held daily prayers and she herself wrote some beautiful prayers in 1662 style. (Her father was a CofE clergyman.)

    Being a cradle Anglican in the CofE I was taught to use short morning and evening prayers daily. (Somewhat similar to the Family Prayers that can be found in the 1979 US BCP.) I was also encouraged to read the BCP Collect, Epistle and Gospel for any Holy Day that I was unable to attend church and to generally dip into the BCP as required. During preparation for Confirmation it was never suggested that I pray the Office daily.
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I think one "should" pray to God in a way one is comfortable with and which allows time for one to also hear God, not just talk to Him. If one feels near to the Lord and more able to express oneself to him through use of the BCP, great. If one feels that praying 'off the cuff' is more appropriate, that's fine also. I don't envision God 'standing on ceremony.'

    That's my opinion, and it's worth every penny you just paid for it. :laugh:
     
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  5. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    You are what you eat, they say. So your formation in Anglican spirituality will reflect closely whether you "dip into" the Prayer Book, or "dive in."
     
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  6. Edmundia

    Edmundia Member

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    I think that some people used to go to Evensong in their Parish churches during the week - for example, in London, a number of churches had daily Matins,Evensong and Eucharist. Evensong would usually take fifteen or twenty minutes at be at 6 p.m. I can remember a few people joining the Vicar or the Vicar and curate.
    I think that in many Cathedrals there would be a core of people who go to Choral Evensong after work. A pleasant English custom is/was to gather after Evensong in a pub or hotel in or near the Close for a few drinks before going home - refreshed in body, soul and mind.
    I would think that out in the country even though the Curate "caused a bell to be tolled thereunto a convenient time before he begin" there wouldn't be many turning up to assist the recitation. Some Cathedrals (how many ???? I am now sure) had daily Choral Matins but I don't imagine many do now. St Paul's Cathedral,London and St Patrick's Cathedral,Dublin were among those who maintained this fine liturgical round, not forgetting the Sung Litany on Sundays,Wednesdays and Fridays, after Matins.
     
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  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I would love to be able to attend an evensong service. Unfortunately I have to travel an hour to my parish.
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. "Refreshed in mind?" Or three sheets to the wind? :laugh:

    I can see it now.
    Bartender: "Won't your wife hit the roof when you come home snookered?"
    Patron: "I schertainly hope sho! Lasht time she put a bullet through my hat!" :D
     
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I specifically try to read some of the family prayers with my 4year old.
     
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  10. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    One of the things that frustrates Fr. Tom and I is the utter lack of prayer book instruction that Fr. Paul gave to the flock before our arrival. The only ones who have any idea what is in the book are the handful of former Episcopalians. It's good that he was able to bring in people from other traditions but he never taught them what our tradition is. I would hazard a guess that most of our lay members don't have a prayer book in their home.

    I realized after my wife died that Fr. Paul doesn't know the book that well either. It became fairly obvious that he was unfamiliar with the burial service. I guess he had always done funerals according to the whims of the family with no real direction from the prayer book.
     
  11. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    Thank you for all your responses. I greatly appreciate them!
     
  12. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    I try to read some every day. As others have said, you are what you partake of.
     
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  13. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    Thank you for your contribution.

    May I ask where one can find such short morning and evening prayers? Or were they extemporaneous?
     
  14. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    They came from a little book which we were given in preparation for Confirmation. It's no longer in print but I've attached the prayers. We were also given a small notebook to fill with prayers that were meaningful to us personally and were encouraged to use those as well.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    That's great. Thank you.
     
  16. JonahAF

    JonahAF Moderator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Might you provide the publication info, or better yet the page scans for the book? Your out of print book sounds like exactly the kind of thing we’ve been publishing online (although mainly we limit to works before 1800).
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It's an out-of-print book, so it might even be available at gutenberg.org . If it is, Jonah might only need the title and author info to find it and download their scans.
     
  18. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    The prayers are from a book called 'In His Presence' by Denis Taylor. It was first published in 1948 but during the 1970's and 80's several variations were made available according to which order of service a church used. There are variations such as Series 1, 2, or 3 and Rite A or B from the ASB 1980. There are some second hand ones available for a very modest amount on Amazon UK. My copy is a tiny book of about 100 pages including the rite for HC.
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I searched isbns.net and found used copies as low as $3.48 in the USA.
     
  20. Thomist Anglican

    Thomist Anglican New Member Anglican

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    Since I found the BCP, I have been praying the Daily Office morning and evening most days. I do, unfortunately, miss some days. Put I try to pray the Offices. I also pray with an Orthodox Christian Prayer Book the morning and evening prayers as well after the Daily Office. That has been very fruitful for me. I will occasionally listen to a fellow Christian who prays the Orthodox prayers as he chants them and I will pray along. Been very good for me. I add in the morning after I read the Orthodox prayer reading the Greek Orthodox Daily Readings.
    I remember when I first became a Christian, a good friend of mine always reminded me that we need our time alone with God everyday. I after these years as a Christian, I have realized how vital that is for me. When I don't take time in the morning and the evening to pray at least something, I feel different throughout the day. I feel stretched. But when I do pray in the mornings and evenings, especially the Daily Office, I feel invigorated and close to God.
     

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